Stana Katic is returning to television. The former Castle star is in final negotiations to play the lead in Absentia, a 10-episode straight-to-series crime thriller greenlighted by Sony Pictures Television Networks’ AXN.
Produced by Tel Aviv-based Masha Productions, the series will begin filming early next year for a 2017 premiere on AXN’s worldwide channels. Sony Pictures Television will handle distribution in the U.S., where the show is yet to be shopped, and outside of AXN’s channel footprint.
Written/executive produced by Matt Cirulnick (South Beach), based on a pilot script originally written by Gaia Violo, Absentia centers on an FBI agent, to be played by Katic. While hunting one of Boston’s most notorious serial killers, the FBI agent disappears without a trace and is declared dead. Six years later, she is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive and with no memory of the years she was missing. Returning home to learn her husband has remarried and her son is being raised by another woman, she soon finds herself implicated in a new series of murders.
Oded Ruskin, known for the hit Israeli series False Flag, will direct all ten episodes of the series. Riskin also will produce with Masha TV’s Maria Feldman (Homeland, False Flag), Ruskin and Julie Glucksman.
“Absentia is the perfect blend of crime thriller and character-driven drama for the AXN audience,” said Marie Jacobson, EVP, Programming and Production at Sony Pictures TV Networks. “With a strong lead, Matt’s writing, and Oded’s direction, we have a signature series packed with suspense, surprise and emotional turns that feels distinctly AXN, and has great global potential,” said Jacobson.
Sony’s AXN networks broadcast in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe, with a programming slate focused on action, crime and mystery. The networks’ most recent drama series commissions include Hannibal, starring Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, and Crossing Lines, with Donald Sutherland and Goran Visnjic.
Katic is coming off an eight-season stint as fan-favorite Kate Beckett on ABC’s Castle, which earned her three People’s Choice Awards. Her most recent feature, The Rendezvous, just had a special screening at the Mill Valley Festival. Katic, who also produces through her own company, Sine Timore Films, is repped by Gersh and Principal Entertainment LA.